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(29 Posts)
Newquay Tue 22-Mar-16 22:38:41

I have a delightful 2 1/2 DGD who lives 2-3 hours away. She's a bright spark and feisty like her Mum (our DD) was and apparently her Dad was too.
However this last recent visit she has taken to insisting on several EXACT things at bedtime, wearing dressing gown, socks and slippers, a certain doll with attachments and holding a particular ball. This only started recently and when they tried to be firm and stop this she just lost the plot and got v upset. She's at nursery 4 days a week, long days from 7.30-5pm so is v tired and doesn't spend a lot of time with parents for those 4 days but they're all together v happily the rest of the time. They, quite rightly, don't want to upset her when it's the end of a long tiring day for them all. I don't know what to suggest-not that I've been asked I hasten to add. They are about to move house so I feel it's better left until they all settle down in new house in about a month's time and feel she will want to leave off some clothing then as she will be too hot but I would hate this to become a serious problem which we should have tackled now. Anyone any experience of this in young children?

Anniebach Tue 22-Mar-16 22:55:06

I have a nephew who had a problem when he was about five Newquay it passed. Perhaps the little mite is concerned about the move and it will pass when they have settled in. She is very young , could be the same as our elder daughter who would not get into bed until her panda was in the bed first.

Newquay Tue 22-Mar-16 23:36:06

Thanks Anniebach do hope so. She's too young really to understand about the house move although we have said to her she's going to have a lovely new room soon and, of course, she says "no" but then she tends to say that to most things! The packers have been in today, house now full of boxes so she will realise soon that something's up that's for sure. She's spending Easter with Mummy and Daddy and other grandparents which she adores so she'll have a wonderful few days but. . . . Then back to a rented home for a few weeks. Like you I think/hope it will pass. They are aware of it so will do what needs to be done all in good time-hope it's not five though!

f77ms Tue 22-Mar-16 23:48:00

It sounds as if she is v anxious , OCD behaviour manifests as a way of coping with anxious thoughts if that's what they are . You say she is at nursery 7.30 till 5 ? it is a very long day for such a young child and perhaps she is over tired on top of everything else .
I would not stop her having her `comfort items` until she is more settled in the new house especially as she gets so upset . Maybe try to undress her when she has gone to sleep so she doesn`t boil !
Quite often they grow out of these things but I understand your concern , maybe you could ask her about it when she is with you to try to find out if something is bothering her .xx

mumofmadboys Tue 22-Mar-16 23:49:53

It is very common for young children to have rituals. It is best to accept them without any fuss and in most cases they pass. Really no need to worry. It will be hard for her moving house. She is bound to be unsettled by it.

Judthepud2 Wed 23-Mar-16 01:39:02

2 and 3 year olds often develop their own rituals. It is a security thing, I think. I remember putting DGD1 to bed when she was 2 and having to put 10 special blankets over her in a certain order. I had been prepared for this by her mum. As soon as she was asleep, the blankets were removed so that she didn't overheat!

She is now 7 and a lovely happy outgoing child, not OCD at all,although a little bit inclined to be bossy.

mumofmadboys Wed 23-Mar-16 07:42:00

When my son was four and started school he liked us to say goodbye to him in five different ways! A hug, a cuddle( he had a set definition for each), say goodbye,wave and shake hands!! We felt right twits shaking hands in the playground! But he happily went into class then.After a few months he had a week off with chicken pox.After that he had forgotten all about the rituals. No sign of ritualistic behaviour since and he is now 20.

Grannyknot Wed 23-Mar-16 07:45:52

mumofmadboys you should change your name to thevoiceofreason smile
And others have said similar.

I would agree that it's not a matter for great concern - my daughter had a "silkie" to fondle (it was a piece of cloth she had become attached to) at bedtime at that age, and I can still remember her positioning it "just so" and freaking out if anyone even touched it. She's fine today!

Newquay Wed 23-Mar-16 07:57:57

Thank you all for your reassurances. I agree f77ms it IS a long day, well FOUR long days but that's how it is. She is very happy at nursery, when we're there we take her in late morning and she runs in. When I have broached this in the past with DD she says she doesn't want to be at home all day (she doesn't have to work, hubby said she could stay at home if she wanted to-he could easily support them). She has worked incredibly hard to get where she is professionally in the face of great health hardship so I do understand. If we lived nearby of course it wouldn't be a problem DH and I would cheerfully have her first thing and last thing but geographically that's not possible.
Also I'm not sure how we're supposed to ask a 2 year old what's bothering her?!
I feel reassured with what you've said that, hopefully, once she's settled into their new house I'm sure DD and SIL will address this. They love her dearly and don't just let things go. They have said she has quite enough change in her life at present, as you've said, so best to keep her happy at the mo which they do. Love the playground rituals Mumofmadboys-the things we do for love! Lol!

mumofmadboys Wed 23-Mar-16 08:15:49

It really is best not to ' address this'. Treat it as normal and don't draw any extra attention to it. The behaviour will just fade with time. I am a retired GP.

LullyDully Wed 23-Mar-16 08:22:36

I think this is perfectly normal in a young child. They are learning to sequence their lives and to fit in. They learn through testing how things work and endless repetition. I also remember my GC putting everything into rows and lines at one stage. Don't worry about OCD until they are much older. With organisation comes understanding of a very complicated and complex world.

f77ms Wed 23-Mar-16 08:27:46

You are right Mum ofmadboys, . The only thing I will add is that I wish I would have talked to my son when he was starting to show signs of OCD as a child because he is now crippled with it at 34 . I thought it would go away if I ignored it .
Newquay I have a 2.5 year old niece who would be capable of having a conversation about things which bother her , I didn`t mean to be flippant ! I hope it all resolves xx

Jalima Wed 23-Mar-16 08:33:13

Some very sensible posts on here and I agree that this is a not a problem 'to be addressed'. Drawing attention to it by anxious parents would possibly make it worse or continue for longer.
Just 'go with the flow', don't make a big deal of moving, and it will in all probability disappear when she is settled into her new bedroom.

Jalima Wed 23-Mar-16 08:36:47

Sorry, f77ms your post was not there when I was typing mine.

Imperfect27 Wed 23-Mar-16 08:55:24

I have only skim read responses to the OP, but think I will simply be adding to what has already been said.

I think GD's behaviour is most likely a passing phase. She has a great deal of change coming to her little world with the house move and, as you say, is already managing long days at nursery. She seems to be seeking security through familiarity.

My DD1 went through a phase of wanting the same story again and again and AGAIN. She had a fairly structured routine anyway, but heightened for us by her 'need' to hear the same story - 28 very long pages - EVERY night and for about a month when she was 3. We just went with it and she moved herself on.

If your DD and SIL can set lightly to your GD's needs - as long as they are not detrimental to her - I think they will be a passing phase, not indicative of an OCD nature developing. If these little routines are maintained for her at the time of the move, they may also help her to settle better in the new home.

ffinnochio Wed 23-Mar-16 09:00:42

Ditto mumofmadboys

mumofmadboys Wed 23-Mar-16 09:50:28

f77ms. I am really sorry your son has developed full blown OCD. Please do not beat yourself up about not talking to him as a child. It probably would not have made any difference. Is he seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist? Some medications help obsessive thoughts.

Luckygirl Wed 23-Mar-16 09:53:15

Rituals are very common at this age. DGD comes to us one day a week and has certain rituals: chocolate biscuit (she's only allowed one!), sit on a particular sofa, read a particular book (always the same), have a bottle of of milk (a baby one, in spite of the fact that she is 3 - this ritual started after arrival of new baby) - we just go with the flow - it will pass! If it helps her with various transitions like becoming a big sister, being away from Mum, then that is fine by us.

Thingmajig Wed 23-Mar-16 10:01:18

Our wee one is the same at 2 and a quarter. Everything has to be as she wants it and if we move anything she puts it right back. Apparently her previously favourite dolls are now consigned to the bottom of her bed nowhere near her!
DD says it's absolutely normal at this age, maybe they like the control! grin

annodomini Wed 23-Mar-16 10:13:51

I used to wonder about one of my GSs, who, at the age of 2, used to line up all his 'Thomas' set of engines in order of size. However, it turned out to be 'just a phase', though, now 10, he is very artistic and has a good eye for design.

Wendysue Wed 23-Mar-16 13:49:40

I'm another one who doesn't see this as unusual or even a sign of any unusual anxiety. IME (in my experience), it's very common among LOs (little ones) to want to organize their world with a few rituals and so forth. This is probably temporary and will pass though it may give way to some other (equally temporary) ritual down the road. I wouldn't worry about it. And I definitely wouldn't label it OCD at this early date!

f77ms Wed 23-Mar-16 16:51:30

Mumof madboys .. I do beat myself up you are right . When I think back it was so obvious that something was not right but with 3 others and an unsupportive Husband I just thought it would pass and that he was just a `bit different` .
He has seen lots of different Docs over the years , Psychologist, Psychiatrist and therapist but the most helpful was his wonderful GP who has since retired . He finds it very difficult to make relationships with new people so is not seeing anyone at present but takes medication and has his own strategies to help him cope . It is a horrible illness and I wouldn`t wish it on anyone . Thanks for your comment x

Crafting Wed 23-Mar-16 19:43:14

My son when a child, used to sing himself to sleep in bed at night (he doesn't now), my other son would never wear red (now his favorite colour) my DGD would not wear trousers (she does now) would wear only pink (it's now purple and black) . Your little one is only 2 ½ and at that age they often have rituals which get forgotten over time.

F77Ms, I too have mild OCD (not as bad as your son). Please don't beat yourself up over it, it sounds as though you did all you could for him. Talking about it doesn't mean you could have resolved it. It is what it is. It's a bit like phobias. People get them for some reason and in some cases you can't "fix it". People have all sorts of problems, some OCD some claustrophobia, some anxiety etc. None of us are perfect in health and mental wellbeing, I believe we all have some difficulties and your sons is OCD ...but at least he has a mum who loves him and cares.

Jalima Wed 23-Mar-16 19:51:34

DD wanted to wear a mac to bed (and wellies - clean!) that her cousin had passed down to her when she was 2. We used to try to take them off when she was fast asleep in case she got too hot. Every time DGD2 comes she strips the dollies and Sindies of all their clothes, refuses to let them wear any and is then satisfied. I usually dress them all again when she has gone home because I can't bear to see them naked grin.

Don't worry, it's probably just a comfort thing and she needs comfort at the moment with the upheaval her little life. She probably feels happy in the bedroom she has got already but she will settle into the new one quickly as long as all her things are around her.

f77ms Wed 23-Mar-16 19:53:39

Thankyou Crafting and yes I love him to bits x